Photo credit: Joel Saget
is about the strangeness of writing, its costs, its impossibility. Maybe it’s also an argument for the truth of which novels speak. Perhaps it is about the necessity of such truth in our age when the very idea of truth is itself under attack.
But who can say?
Certainly not the writer. Reading is ever a more intelligent and creative act than writing, which is why the novel is about a ghostwriter who has been hired to write the memoir of a con man, only to discover it is his own life being rewritten.
It has been suggested I could prepare a playlist of songs that influenced First Person
. More interesting to me is the music I am listening to now, early in the stages of composing a new novel. Because to these songs no meaning or purpose can be claimed, no connections traced to the final text.
Perhaps there is contained within them some linked or developing feeling, some growing emotion. Perhaps I write only to unearth what words like desire and love mean. Or to relearn what kindness might be.
Or perhaps not.
What if all life is a similar confusion: Closing our hands on a mystery that vanishes the moment our grip tightens?
|Note: In order to listen to the playlist, you will need to log in to Spotify. Sign up for a free account here.
- "River" by Ibeyi
- "Natural Law" by Frazey Ford
- "Tomorrow Never Came" by Lana Del Ray (featuring Sean Ono Lennon)
- "99 and 1/2" by Mavis Staples
- "Ruby" by Ali Farka Touré and Toumani Diabaté
- "Elisa" by Jane Birkin
- "Crazy Love" by Marianne Faithfull
- "Avant Gardener" by Courtney Barnett
- "Versatile Heart" by Linda Thompson
- "Ghir Enta (I Only Love You)" by Souad Massi
- "As Tears Go By" (LP Version) by Esther Phillips
- "Moon River" by Neil Finn and Paul Kelly
- "Guns of Brixton" by Jimmy Cliff
÷ ÷ ÷
's five previous novels — Death of a River Guide
, The Sound of One Hand Clapping
, Gould’s Book of Fish
, The Unknown Terrorist
, and Wanting
— have received numerous honors and are published in 42 countries. He won the Man Booker Prize for The Narrow Road to the Deep North
. He lives in Tasmania. First Person
is his most recent novel.